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Wake Forest 39, Duke 37

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Sophomore kicker Nick Sciba connected on four field goals while setting an NCAA record, and Wake Forest held off Duke for a 39-27 victory.

The Demon Deacons (8-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) withstood Duke's Damond Philyaw-Johnson's two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Philyaw-Johnson's 98-yard kickoff return gave the Blue Devils (4-7, 2-5) a 27-26 lead with 9:34 remaining. But Kenneth Walker III scored on a 14-yard run about a minute later to put Wake Forest ahead for good. Philyaw-Johnson had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

The Demon Deacons put the game away on Cade Carney's 18-yard TD run with 3:27 left.

Sciba kicked field goals of 38, 34, 44 and 25 yards to give him 32 consecutive made field goals, surpassing the record of 30 set by Chuck Nelson of Washington in the 1981-82 seasons. Sciba's 44-yarder, his longest of the season, set the record and extended Wake Forest's lead to 23-13 late in the third quarter.

"It's great for him (Sciba)," Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. "You keep going to the well and he keeps getting it done."

Jamie Newman completed 14 of 25 passes for 284 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Hinton. Newman also rushed 29 times for a career-high 144 yards that included a 42-yard scoring run. Walker added 113 yards rushing on 17 carries.

Duke's Quentin Harris completed 14 of 23 passes for 163 yards, including a 23-yard TD pass to Noah Gray.

The Blue Devils managed only one first down until picking up two in the final minute of the first half while running out the clock. Philyaw-Johnson responded to Sciba's first field goal by racing through a seam near the right sideline for his first career TD.

"There's always something positive you can take away from a game," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "Those returns were no accident. Damond is fast, and he's fearless."

The Demon Deacons, who led 13-10 at halftime, extended the lead to 20-10 thanks to Newman's 62-yard pass to Hinton on the opening series of the second half.

AJ Reed kicked field goals of 30 and 43 yards for the Blue Devils.

Wake Forest amassed 610 yards total offense while holding Duke to 290 yards. Yet, the Deacons trailed with less than nine minutes to play.

"Obviously, our kickoff coverage is atrocious," said Clawson, who ordered a short kickoff away from Philyaw-Johnson after Wake's final TD. "If we could just cover kicks, it wouldn't have been a close game."

Associated Press


November 23, 2019

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